Stem cells can be used to repair heart tissues without surgical incision: Experts
March 31, 2012, 0800 IST
In a great sigh of relief to heart patients, top international researchers here in Hyderabad revealed that Stem Cell Technology can be used to repair damaged heart tissues without actually performing surgical incision into the chest.
While participating in the International stem cell conference at International School of Business at Gachibowli, scientists revealed that the stem cell technology can be used to repair heart tissues damaged by myocardial infraction commonly known as heart attack.
Taking it as a great break through in the medical sciences, doctors and heart surgeons felt that the stem cell technology will be a great boon to the millions of patients suffering from heart attacks.
According to eminent Scientist Prof. Minger, head global research and development at GE Healthcare UK, the heart tissues are usually damaged by the myocardial infraction. This is also commonly known as heart attack. By using the stem cell technology, it is easier and simpler to heal the heart tissues,” revealed the Scientist.
Usually in a conventional method of heart surgery doctors cut open the chest muscles to gain access to the heart, but now with the use of stem cell technology this practice can be put on halt.
By using the stem cell technology, the heart cells cultured in laboratory can be implanted in heart through a catheter from one of the arms. As this kind of treatment is not involving any physical incisions on the body, the patients can be discharged on the same day.
Further explaining in detail, Prof Minger said that heart attack occurs when blood supply to the heart is stopped for a long time and this damages the heart tissues. By using stem cell technology such damaged tissues can be treated without any complicated surgery.
The scientist advocated that as India is having a huge population of more than a billion, the country can play a key role in stem cells and regenerative medicine. “There is a need to create awareness among the population. If India and China could bank even one per cent of their annual births, they could supply stem cells to the whole world,” said Prof Minger.
“Public banking of cord blood will enable to treat many diseases which are incurable such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In the next 4-5 years developing heart tissues damaged by myocardial infraction will become a real possibility,” revealed the scientist.
Throwing light on recent developments, the professor said that heart cells derived from bone marrow have been implanted successfully in a patient, and the technology is helpful in transplanting new insulin-producing cells for diabetics and myelinating cells for individual afflicted with multiple sclerosis.